Guwahati: The Chief Minister of Manipur N Biren Singh has called a meeting on January 29 with all the political parties to discuss Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 although protests against the bill continue in the state.
Although people, political parties, NGO's and other non-political organizations are protesting against the said bill, the Chief Minister has called the meeting to discuss about it deeply, said Irengbam Arun, Adviser to the Chief Minister.
The BJP is heading a coalition government in the state with the National People's Party, Naga People's Front and the Lok Janasakti Party. The students' organizations, civil society and Manipur People's Party (MPP) are against the bill and MPP President O Jugindro also said earlier that they would oppose the bill and that if the bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha it would reduce the population of indigenous people of the northeastern states including Manipur to microscopic minority.
The Chief Minister of Manipur had earlier said that the bill will not have any effect on the state. However, six students' organizations and women organization of the state Meira Paibi also announced that they will launch agitation against CAB at New Delhi if the bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha.
The meeting of the Manipur Cabinet held on 10 January chaired by the Chief Minister had urged the Centre to exempt the state from the jurisdiction of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. It also urged the Centre and authorities concerned to give assent to the Manipur People's (Protection) Bill, 2018 passed by the state assembly.
The bill defines Manipuris and non-Manipuris and seeks to protect the interests and identity of the indigenous people.
According to the Citizenship Act 1955, a person may become an Indian citizen if they are born in India or have Indian parentage or have resided in the country over a period of time. However, illegal migrants are prohibited from acquiring Indian citizenship.
Illegal migrants may be imprisoned or deported under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920. The 1946 and the 1920 Acts empower the central government to regulate the entry, exit and residence of foreigners within India. In 2015 and 2016, the central government issued two notifications exempting certain groups of illegal migrants from provisions of the 1946 and the 1920 Acts.